Monday, July 9, 2007

Don't You Think It's Weird

I'm not telling you where that song lyric came from. I'm too ashamed to say I know the lyrics to that song.

My child is weird. There. I've said it. And I have no hesitation in saying it, because I know she gets a lot of it from my husband and me, and I think I'm okay with my weirdness, but there are times that I worry a little bit. Here are some examples why.

Dietary Habits

Now, I know every four-year-old is a picky eater at some point. However, it's not just that The-Four-Year-Old is picky, her tastes are bizarre. Until recently she refused to eat anything made with ground beef, buts eats blue cheese by the fistful. Her favorites are Gorgonzola, Danish Blue, and Maytag. TFYO even asks for it in the store. "Mom, I think we're out of blue cheese, you need to buy some!" She also prefers to eat spinach salad (again, blue cheese dressing or Green Goddess dressing only, please), and likes carrots and celery, but if you serve her a cooked vegetable she freaks out. She eats fish and chicken (especially if it's breaded), but beef is pretty much off the table. Pork chops are out, but she rivals Elvis in her love for bacon (my apologies to all my vegetarian friends, the meat thing is almost over). The caveat to this is I can usually coax her into eating anything if I put hot sauce on it, or give her a kosher dill pickle to eat along side of whatever else has been served. Sometimes she just wants to eat the pickles out of the jar.

Musical Tastes

I was going to blame this one on my husband, but I suppose this is my fault too. Mostly his, though. My daughter is in love with Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. When my daughter was just shy of her first birthday, I bought my husband a Rat Pack DVD and CD set. When Dean showed up on the television screen, my baby hauled herself over there and plastered herself against him, howling with anger when I tried to pull her away. It's been that way every since. If we get in the car, "Moooooooom! I don't want to listen to your music, I wanna listen to MINE. I want DEAN." She also loves Glen Miller, Rosemary Clooney, and James Taylor. She also likes the Beatles better than the Rolling Stones. If she's given the chance to choose, though, it's almost always Dean Martin. The worst part for me is that she's taken to copying Dean's jokes from the DVD. I can just see her waltzing in to her first day of Pre-Kindergarten this fall. "I don't drink anymore, I freeze it and eat it like a popsicle." On the upside, her comic timing is impeccable.

Which brings me to this: Her Sense of Humour

TFYO knows if her father or I are mad about something, the easiest way out is to make us laugh. This would be okay, if she wasn't so damned good at making me laugh. One night we were having a tough time getting her to settle down to bed. She kept giggling, and I finally went in there and said "Just what the heck is so funny about bedtime?"

"Nothing," she said.

"Well, if nothing is funny, then why are you laughing?" (See, I'm playing the straight man here)

"Because nothing is funny. Nothing is just sooooo funny!"

"Alright, now, settle down. If nothing is funny, there shouldn't be so much laughing."

Then up pops a little hand from underneath the covers, and the hand says to me:

"I'm Nothing, and I'm hilaaaaaaaaarious!"

And just while I was trying to keep it together, her other hand popped up and proclaimed:

"And I'm Anything, and I'm funny, too!"

I had to leave the room. Her right foot has since been named Something, but it isn't quite as hilarious to Anything and Nothing who seem to delight in picking on her. And for some reason Anything sounds like James Mason. Or, at least, James Mason imitated by a little four-year-old girl.

The last thing weird about my kid:

Her Life, the Musical

TFYO loves to sing, and I mean SING. She's always been musical, she's been teaching herself simple songs on the piano since she was two years old, and we've always sang songs to her. But some days, I feel like I'm living in the Rabbit of Seville. Does she want to eat? Loud and clear and almost Wagnerian : "Yeeeees, Mommeeeeeee, I would like to eaaaaaaat! To eat, to eat, to eat would be sweeeeeeeeet!" The same goes for the playground, the bath and bedtime. Everything can be made into a song. There are occasions when this makes other children avoid her, but she doesn't seem to care. Generally, it doesn't bother me because her pitch is good, and she's rarely flat, and her sense of composition is pretty decent for a four-year-old. It's just when she wants us to join in that we have a problem. That, and the Twyla Tharp style dance numbers.

So, The-Four-Year-Old is weird, but I still think she's wonderful. I can give her a stack of books, and she'll read them to me while I try and get some housework done. Or she'll create little scenarios for her dolls to act out. Or she'll draw on every available piece of scrap paper until she's reduced to drawing on the backs of cereal boxes. And I love it. I love every minute of it.


mjd said...

Your daughter is a lovely and unique bundle of joy, but I guess all children are. Dean Martin is an interesting musical choice for any age as is Hilary Duff. Seriously, I loved reading about your little person.

swamp witch said...

All four-year-olds are weird and wired, too. Love reading about what she will and won't eat. About the bacon thing and apologizing to vegetarians...bacon isn't meat, it's fat...and I love it fried real crisp on wheat bread, mayo, home grown 'maters' and salt. Very appetizing and unhealthy.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

I would rather have a 'character' kid any day over a cookie cutter follow the crowd kid. That's what makes life interesting. And you know what they say about apples and trees...

The Dean Martin thing is very funny. I hope she doesn't quote him at school and attribute it to you!

jillian said...

The best was about 2 years ago when I was babysitting TFYO and mum and dad were out. She wanted Milk and Rock (milk in her sippy cup and rocking on the rocking chair) but let me tell you. There is nothing as insanely hilarious as rocking in a rocking chair while a 2YO is sipping milk and listening to Dean Martin sing "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie... that's amore!"

She's quite the character... but that's what makes her a princess. :)

Jen said...

Argh, first comment and I'm outed. Thanks, mjd! I will confess, I only know the song thanks to my line of work, not because I actually OWN any Hillary Duff. Really. Stop looking at me like that.

Swamp witch, I actually did a whole post a while back about the glories of Duke's Mayonnaise, and how lovely it is on tomato sandwiches. And I've always loved bacon. I think it's true that bacon makes everything better.

RC, I'm always happy that TFYO is different. She sometimes does what we call random math. "Mom, do you know that 2 times 3 is 6, and that it's the same as 1 tmes 6? And that 12 times 12 is 144?" She sounds so earnest when she says it. I confess, I'm a tree that loves blue cheese and other salty things. The apple gets it from me.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Jen TYFO is undoubtedly a star in the making.

I love the hands thing...

"I'm Nothing, and I'm hilaaaaaaaaarious!"

Also her musical taste is pretty good. I used to sing 'Fly me to the Moon' to E and M.

My two also prefer our music as they're into Razorlight and The Libertines, Amy Winehouse and Norah Jones, but they both also really love Tom Jones which is quite funny when you're at the shops and M is pelting out all the words to 'What's new pussycat?' in her cute 2 year old voice.

Sounds to me like TFYO is going to be very like her mummy.
Creative, warm and funny.

RC is right.
Character is good.

Drunk Mummy said...

I agree - your girl is a star - get her an agent. She can keep you well into retirement!

glscott said...

Jen...face've given birth to another Dakota Fanning and Andrea McArdle all rolled into one.

Nothing wrong with a little bit of Rat Pack love. I'm partial to Sammy myself...for obvious reasons.

"Come fly with me. Let's fly, let's fly away..."

willowtree said...

Ok, I was prepared to give her the benefit of the doubt because she's just a kid, but anyone who eats washing machines is just plain weird!

Poetess said...


Your daughter sounds lovely.

My dad brought me up on the 50's and 60's and i am really grateful for that because it is fantastic. I was "born to late" as the song goes to experience it for myself but it is something that always brings dad and I closer.

And all the veggies is a great things too.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you've got yourself one truly adorable wierdo there; my favorite kind of person. Plus she has outstanding taste in music. Dean Martin AND James Taylor - she sounds like my kind of gal!

Thanks for the nice comments over at my place, by the way. You're welcome any time!